Sports Culture Stories | From boxing in Oakland to inspiring the next generations through different life values

Photo Credit: Lisa Keating

Los Angeles, CA | September 08 | Kelly Landaverde – @Kel_landaverde

Vertical Skillz empowers urban youth of color through outreach opportunities, mentorship, life skills training, and international traveling experience. The nonprofit’s mission is to build physical, mental, and character strength in students who are often without access to resources. She took 8 Middle and High School students to Nicaragua last year to experience a sanction boxing show in Masaya. Not only did she take her students, but she also showed them how it feels like to donate equipment to undeserved communities.

This July “Coach G” took ten middle and high schoolers on an international exchange to Cuba. She raises money every year through the fundraisers she organizes, gofundme page and is able to take them to a different country each year. The process as to how she selects the students is after they apply and write a 1-2 page essay saying why they want to go, why do they think it’s important to travel. Gomez always teaches her students these three things, to believe in themselves, to make a mass commitment to their goals, and understand that is not what happens to you is how you respond. “In sports you are always taught to react, but in life it’s about responding ” said Gomez.

Mario Esco.jpeg

Photo Credit: Mario Esco

Professional boxer Dalia “La Pantera” Gomez holds the 2015 California Golden Glove Championship title, the 2015 Puerto Rico vs. California Champion title, and is the 2016 Beautiful Brawler Champion. Gomez received a basketball scholarship to attend college and became the first to graduate in her family. She is also a coach, trainer, motivational speaker, former Oakland Unified School district teacher, and the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Vertical Skillz Outreach.

You can follow her on her Social Media Handles

Instagram: @dalialapantera

Facebook: Dalia “La Pantera” Gomez


Instagram: @verticalskillz

Facebook: Vertical Skillz